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    Post-op Complications from Heparin Allergy
    soakupsummer posted:
    Hello. I was hoping to hear from someone that could relate to what my dad is going through after his triple bypass surgery.

    After having some chest pains, my dad went to the VA, and they decided that he needed to have a triple bypass done. His heart was always in very good condition, however, he had had a lot of clogged arteries that were formerly treated with stents. Unfortunately, he had to undergo the surgery about 3 weeks before my wedding day. This gave him motivation to do everything right post surgery so that he could be well enough to walk me down the aisle. I flew in for the surgery and everything seemed to have gone well and they expected him to be released from the ICU within a couple of days, and released home a few days later.

    However, the day after I left, things took a turn for the worse. After they moved him up from the ICU, he suffered a heart attack. He was also experiencing memory loss. They found out that he had developed antibodies to the heparin that they had him on for the past 10 days. This had caused several blood clots to form in the newly grafted arteries. He also developed pericarditis after the heart attack, which leads to random fits of severe chest pain every day. Now, a part of his heart isn't beating. They say that it could randomly start back up again, but I don't know how believable that is. Needless to say, they brought him back down to the ICU, where he stayed for another 2 weeks. After letting him go home, he still has to wait his normally recovery time for the chest bone to heal, but they say he will never be able to pour concrete again (he owns a concrete business) and he is feeling very depressed. My dad has always been a hard worker with a strong heart, and the surgery has harmed him more than it has helped him. I cannot find a lot of information online about patients that suffered complications from heparin allergies, but am hoping to hear from someone that has gone through something similar to get a better idea of what things might be looking like for my dad. Any input would be appreciated.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "They found out that he had developed antibodies to the heparin that they had him on for the past 10 days. This had caused several blood clots to form."

    Sounds like this is what happened -

    Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia

    This complication of heparin is often confusing because in HIT, heparin does the opposite of what it is supposed to do: It forms rather than prevents new blood clots.

    "Now, a part of his heart isn't beating. They say that it could randomly start back up again, but I don't know how believable that is."

    Seems unlikely post-heart attack, unless that part of the heart is actually either stunned or hibernating.

    Especially after having a heart attack, one should know his/her left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), which is the single-most important clinical indicator of how well the heart is pumping out blood.

    Cleveland Clinic

    Understanding Your Ejection Fraction
    Best of luck to your dad down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



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    wilreich responded:
    My mother was the victim of almost the same thing. Everyone needs to be tested for heparin allergy BEFORE receiving it. However, it appears that this may be more complicated that it sounds since it's an auto-immune response that can start at anytime the drug is given.

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